Author Topic: Adding a headlight switch  (Read 117 times)

Offline davidpdx

  • Posts: 216
Adding a headlight switch
« on: February 19, 2021, 10:17:01 PM »
      Wondering if anyone has had experience adding a headlight switch to a bike (84 R65) that did not come with one? I had an experience on an older R100 where the battery died and after I got a jump start it would only run with the headlight off. Rode home 200 miles without stopping because I did not have a way to restart it. I could always disconnect the headlight bulb if I found myself in the same situation but a switch seems like a more elegant solution. Thanks
1984 R65 60K+
1946 Triumph Speed Twin

Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. ?That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba?

? Hunter S. Thomps

Offline Bob_Roller

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Re: Adding a headlight switch
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2021, 10:03:44 AM »
An easy solution, would be cut into the ground wire for the head light and run it through a switch . Motobins still has the OEM rocker switch you can install in the instrument housing . Or you could use another available switch and mount it else where hidden from view .
« Last Edit: February 20, 2021, 10:34:17 AM by Bob_Roller »
'81 R65
'82 R65 LS ?
'84 R65 LS
'87 Moto Guzzi V65 Lario
'02 R1150R
Riding all year long since 1993 .
I'll give up my R65, when they pry my cold dead hands from the handlebars !!!!!

Offline davidpdx

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Re: Adding a headlight switch
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2021, 09:39:58 PM »
Nice simple solution and thanks for the tip on Motobins. That way I don't have to mass with the handle bar switches.
1984 R65 60K+
1946 Triumph Speed Twin

Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. ?That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba?

? Hunter S. Thomps

Offline Barry

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Re: Adding a headlight switch
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2021, 03:32:27 AM »
Not sure if this is the same for an 84 but with earlier models you could just replace the ignition switch with a Euro version. This is not a great picture but it shows the difference between a US switch and a Euro switch which has

off
1.  Parking Lights
2.   ignition
3.   Ignition and parking lights
4.   Ignition and Headlight

« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 03:41:03 AM by Barry »
Barry Cheshire, England 79 R45

Offline davidpdx

  • Posts: 216
Re: Adding a headlight switch
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2021, 12:24:51 PM »
      Thanks for that Barry. I had wondered about doing it that way but I was not sure how the wiring and plugs were set up. If it was a straight plug and play situation that would be a great way to go as long as I can find an ignition switch that is in good condition. I once had a Honda that had the ignition switch going bad and it drove me crazy trying tor tack it down. Love those intermittent faults.
1984 R65 60K+
1946 Triumph Speed Twin

Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. ?That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba?

? Hunter S. Thomps

Offline mrclubike

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  • Jungheinrich Master Tech
Re: Adding a headlight switch
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 09:33:03 PM »
All you have to do is move is move the GREEN  wire over together with GREY wire on the back of the Ignition switch
Mine has been this way for over 40,000 miles
Then what you have is
#1   IS OFF
#2   PARK LIGHT + IGNITION (Turn off bike with kill switch if you want the park light on by itself)
#3   PARK LIGHT  +IGNITION +HEADLIGHT

Replace the Park light and Taillight with LEDS and you will have very little battery drain when driving with them on

I have mine set up this way to be able to turn the head light off and run the LED floods by themselves
« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 09:40:45 PM by mrclubike »
1982 R65 running tubeless Snowflakes
2004 R1150R

Offline Matt Chapter

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Re: Adding a headlight switch
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2021, 12:04:34 PM »
I changed my '86 USA left hand switch gear for a Euro spec switch gear two replacements ago.

Which means the replacement one you can get from motobins or wherever does have the headlight switch, but the build quality is somewhat questionable.
'86 R65 with '84 motor ~67000 miles. ?SS lines, Spiegler rotor, Progressive monoshock, Keihan silencers, a piece of Pichler fairing.
'76 CB400F ~26000 miles. ?Weepy SS lines, big dent in the tank.

Offline jp9094

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Re: Adding a headlight switch
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2021, 12:55:05 PM »
Another option is to obtain a European 5 position ignition switch which allows you to run the bike without the headlights. I will admit that they appear to be as scarce as hens teeth !

FWIW
"It's what you learn, after you know it all, that counts"

Offline georgesgiralt

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Re: Adding a headlight switch
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2021, 01:59:10 AM »
Another option is to obtain a European 5 position ignition switch which allows you to run the bike without the headlights. I will admit that they appear to be as scarce as hens teeth !

FWIW
Those switches are sold as pattern parts now. They are NLA from BMW. Not cheap but I do not know which is cheaper, a new ignition switch or a new left handlebar gizmo ....
You will have to wire the switch properly as are the Euro spec 5 position ignition swithes bikes.
Have a nice ride !

Offline Justin B.

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Re: Adding a headlight switch
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2021, 09:48:25 AM »
You could also look for a good used pre-'80 (or '79) US L/H switch assembly.  I bought a '78 R100 new and it had the same switch as the later Euro models.  There is a little re-wiring required but it would be very clean.
Justin B.

2004 BMW R1150RT
1981 R100RT - Summer bike, NEKKID!!!